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United Turkish metalworkers achieve wage increase

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3 February, 2020Through unity, determination and concerted action, the three unions reached a collective bargaining victory for around 130.000 of its members.

Following the failure of the Turkish Employers Association of Metal Industries (MESS) to enter into meaningful dialogue in January, Türk Metal, Birleşik Metal-İş and Özçelik-İş decided to take strike action.

However, in the early morning of 29 January, following intense negotiations, an agreement was reached on a substantial wage increase. Turk Metal and Özçelik-İş unions signed the agreement after the bargaining rally while Birleşik Metal-İş union signed it on 2 February.

The agreement is valid for two years, as of 1 September 2019. According to the agreement, hourly wages of those earning under Turkish Liras (TL) 12 will be increased. All wages will increase by 17 per cent during the first six-month period, versus 6.05 per cent inflation of the same period.

For the second six-month period, an increase of six per cent for hourly wages even if the inflation rate is under that figure. If inflation is above 6 per cent, it will be added. For the third and fourth six-month periods, hourly wages will be raised at a level equal to inflation.

As for benefits, for the first year, a 20 per cent rise will be provided.

The average increase with all gains is 18.49 per cent for the first six months, totalling 25.50 per cent for the first year. In addition, health insurance provided by the employers has been maintained.

IndustriALL Global Union and IndustriALL European Trade Union congratulate their affiliates Türk Metal, Özçelik-İş and Birleşik Metal-İş on the success of the agreement and the cooperation and unity shown in the negotiation process.

IndustriAll Europe’s general secretary Luc Triangle says: 

“We congratulate our three Turkish metal affiliates with the excellent result they have reached in this collective bargaining round. Europe is currently discussing ways how to strengthen collective bargaining as a tool to tackle growing inequality. The result of this agreement is in line with this objective. Our trade unions campaigned for a fair agreement, and that’s what they achieved”

IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says: 

“Our three Turkish metal affiliates have shown a great example of mobilization at plant level and through mass demonstrations. They have also shown how trade unions can and should be in unity around the issues surrounding all workers. Unity is crucial in such sector-wide collective agreement processes. We congratulate the Unions for this major achievement.”